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Choosing the Best Ankle Brace

by Juan Lopez April 26, 2022 0 Comments

Choosing the Best Ankle Braces

We understand how difficult it can be to find the best ankle brace, with different options available. However we are here to help, by explaining all the important factors including material, type, sizing, support, and recommendations for the most common needs. Take a look at our five specialized designs, made to address a range of common conditions like tendonitis, sprained ankles, achilles tendon pain, and more.

What to Consider When Choosing Your Ankle Brace

Learn more about all the most important factors for the perfect ankle brace.


Our adjustable ankle brace and lightweight ankle brace are made from breathable neoprene. This allows them to prevent moisture buildup and resist stretching, while staying lightweight and durable.


You can also try the breathable polyester and nylon blend found in our lace-up ankle brace. This lightweight and durable material is perfect for all-day comfort, letting it fit in almost any footwear. An elastic top strap is lined with Velcro for adjustable pressure and a secure fit, while a breathable mesh lining keeps skin fresh. Paired with supportive figure 8 straps, it is perfect for compression and adjustability.


The bamboo charcoal blend found in our compression sleeve maximizes lightweight flexibility, and is soft to the touch. It also helps regulate temperature and provides mild support to the ankle and heel.


Both the Ankle Ice Wrap and Compression Ice Wrap are constructed with a mix of neoprene and nylon material which is breathable, soft, lightweight, and provides a moisture wicking barrier.


  • Wrap

    The benefit of our wrapping braces is how easy they are to slide on and off, with Velcro straps that can be adjusted to individual needs. This makes them a good option for those with swelling, and makes sizing easy. They provide mild to moderate support but are also slim enough to fit inside most footwear.

  • Laced

    Lace-up braces are tied by hand up the length of the ankle, and then wrapped with a pair of stability straps. While they aren’t as easy to put on, the level of support they offer is high, which makes them a must for athletes and more serious ankle conditions. Their semi-rigid design offers stability and greater range of motion, while the open-heel makes it easy to pair with your favorite pair of shoes.

  • Compression

    The simple design of our compression sleeves slips on and off easily and stays comfortable all day long. They offer mild support with targeted compression and are a good way to improve blood flow and relieve swelling in the ankle. Wear them under socks while running or playing basketball.

    Another compression providing option is our Compression Ankle Ice Wrap. This brace is designed with customizable compression that can be adjusted with a hand-pump and valve system while also providing either cold or heat to injury.

  • Rigid

    For the most serious injuries, a rigid ankle brace may be the best option. These come in stirrup or boot designs and feature a hard, protective shell that restricts movement to aid the recovery process. Rigid braces are most frequently recommended by a doctor to treat serious ankle injuries.


Our ankle brace and standard ankle brace feature a one-size-fits-most design, and can be adjusted for a snug fit. Our lace-up brace is available in small, medium, and large sizes, while the compression sleeve comes in S/M and L/XL sizes.


Getting a snug fit is easy. With any of our ankle braces, you should be able to comfortably fit 2 fingers between the brace and your skin. This will help avoid slipping while not cutting off circulation.

Level of Support

Our braces range in support from mild to maximum. Learn more about the benefits of each below.

  • Mild

    For minor injuries or those further along in the recovery process, mild support braces are the best choice. They are typically flexible braces that prioritize compression while offering a small amount of support. Our bamboo ankle sleeves are one example, which is are a good solution for minor sprains, arthritis, and mild support while running.

  • Medium

    Mid-range braces are good to have on hand because they can treat a variety of conditions while staying semi-rigid, adjustable, and easy to use. Whether you are facing arthritis, tendonitis, or injury prevention during light athletic activity, a medium support brace is a good choice. Our adjustable ankle brace and standard ankle brace offer medium support.

  • Maximum

    Our maximum-support ankle braces can range from rigid to semi-rigid, and feature added elements like support stays or tight laces to keep the joint firmly in place. They are a good choice for more serious injuries like rolled ankles, though they may be too stiff for some runners and athletes. Of the ankle braces we offer, our laced ankle brace offers the highest level of support.

    Although not designed for high activity, our Compression Ankle Ice Wrap offers adjustable support utilizing a hand pump + valve system ranging from mild to maximum. The customizable compression helps to promote blood flow and pain relief based on your personal needs.

Our Recommendations for... 

Suffering from a specific condition, or have specific athletic needs? Find the ideal option here.

Lightweight Ankle Brace

Achilles Tendon Pain

Our Standard Ankle Brace offers comfortable support to the ankle and heel, while being adjustable and flexible with a one-size-fits-most design. It’s lightweight compression helps promote natural healing by increasing blood flow to the injury to prevent further harm. You can wear it on a regular basis, as it’s neoprene body is washable and easy to keep stain and odor-free. To deal with the swelling and inflammation of achilles tendonitis and related conditions, try our Open-Toe Compression Socks.

Bamboo Ankle Support


Runners know that support doesn’t need to come at the cost of mobility. To stay moving, try our Bamboo Ankle Sleeves which offers the stability and compression you need while also staying lightweight and flexible. It’s slim design is the best option to keep from slowing down your stride, and when it’s time to wash-up after your workout, you’ll want a brace that can be thrown directly in the washer for an easy clean. The Standard Ankle Brace is another way to get lightweight compression, with a bit of added support.

Adjustable Ankle Brace


Whether you’re looking for a brace for tennis, basketball, or any of your favorite sports, the number one concern is maximizing stability. That’s why our Ankle Brace is the perfect option, using dual-strap compression to keep your joint in place. Even if you’re not currently working through an injury, this brace should offer plenty of protection. If added compression is your main concern, try our Bamboo Ankle Sleeves to improve blood flow and boost your game.

Lace Up Ankle Brace

Prevent Rolling

Ankle rolls are common and can strike at any time, especially if you suffer from chronic ankle instability. Luckily, our Laced Ankle Brace offers firm support all day long, with multiple levels of support. Durable Velcro straps will keep the joint in place from multiple angles while the fully adjustable design can compensate for swelling and ensure a snug fit.

vive Lightweight Ankle Brace

Pain Relief

For pain relief after an ankle injury we recommend our Compression Ankle Ice Wrap which offers the option of either hot or cold therapy, along with compression relief that encourages blood flow. It straps on easily, providing full coverage and can be worn while moving around. Another great option is the Standard Ankle Ice Wrap which functions the same, but without the compression feature.

vive Lightweight Ankle Brace

Sprained Ankles

Sprained ankles, breaks, and fractures are some of the most common causes of impeded mobility for our customers, which is why we developed our Standard Ankle Brace to reduce pain and offer stability. Pairing stable cross braces with adjustable neoprene straps, a lightweight ankle brace boasts a versatile design that maximizes support. Enjoy a secure, non-slip fit that will stay in place all day long. You can also try our Ankle Ice Pack for pain management while recovering. Wear it around the house, hands-free!


Frequently Asked Questions

See what others are asking, and get up-to-date info on ankle braces.

Q: Can ankle braces weaken athletic ankles?

A: Some athletes are concerned that ankle braces can limit range of motion and ultimately weaken the joint, due to disuse. This can be true of certain maximum support designs, which is why we recommend more flexible and lightweight braces to athletes. By maintaining a full range of motion, the ankle can stay protected without losing strength.

Q: How tight should an ankle brace be?

A: When sizing your ankle brace, make sure it’s tight enough to provide support without cutting off circulation. For the perfect fit, adjust your Velcro straps to the appropriate tightness, then place two fingers between the strap and your leg. You know the brace is too tight if they don’t fit, and too loose if you can fit a third finger.

When in doubt, get a professional opinion. Take your brace to your next doctor’s visit and ensure it fits properly.

Q: When is the best time to wear an ankle brace after an injury?

A: Ankle braces should be worn post-recovery for anywhere from 1 to 10 weeks. Continue to use your support brace as long as you experience symptoms like swelling, pain, and instability. If symptoms last longer than 10 weeks, talk to your doctor immediately.

Q: How are ankle braces more effective than taping?

A: While ankle braces and taping offer similar levels of support, braces have the extra advantage of being adjustable and easy to slip on and off. Plus ankle braces don’t require users to shave their legs, and don’t irritate skin over the long-term.

Need More Help?

Get more information on all Vive Health products by talking to our customer service and product specialists. Call between 8:30am and 9pm EST daily at 1-800-487-3808 or email us at

Juan Lopez
Juan Lopez

Juan Lopez is part of the product development and improvement team at His understanding of products and vast knowledge of consumer needs makes it easy for him to provide helpful information on choosing the best products.

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